HOUSTON — A new community art studio has opened up in north Houston.
The mother (and artist) who opened it is hoping to offer free classes for families who don’t have the resources for art.
Veronica Cabrera is a local artist who started creating when she was 12 years old -- after her father, who was also an artist, died.
After more than 15 years of experience in teaching and painting, Cabrera knew she wanted to bring art to those underserved communities.
"I grew up in this neighborhood, which is Eastex Jensen, as a young kid who loved art and creativity but didn’t have access to supplies teachers or classes," Cabrera said.
So, she gutted a bus and started driving to different neighborhoods to provide classes. But she said she felt like she wanted to do more.
"I kept seeing this building and wanting this building ... (I) spoke to the landlord. It needed a lot of work and it was really expensive ... it wasn’t within my reach," Cabrera said.
Last year, her dream became a reality when she was awarded a $100,000 grant from Kelly Clarkson. She was able to rent the building and start Art in the Heart.
"We want to have free classes on Sundays and do workshops. We have a lot of seniors who are at home bored and need a little creativity," Cabrera said.
They just had their grand opening in May. The murals and the classrooms are now set to welcome kids for summer camps.
But, the community art center also hopes to tackle some of the problems this neighborhood face -- like illegal dumping. To do that, they will transform the empty lot next door.
"We are going to pick up some of this trash and turn it into sculptures of art and put them throughout the garden," Cabrera said.
Even though Cabrera knows she still has a lot of work to do, she hopes that with the help of donors and grants she can continue to offer a space for the entire community.
"I really believe that art is not just something for little ones, it's something you can do as a family," Cabrera said.
For more information on how you can help, you can check out this link.